For years, I spend 15 hours one way traveling in a car from Virginia to Michigan to be with family during Thanksgiving. I dreaded the long trip, but wouldn’t miss being with family during the holidays.
If you are like me, you may be boarding a plane, sitting in a car, train or some other form of transportation for hours on end to get to and from your destination.
Dr. Luis Navarro of the Vein Treatment Center in New York City wants you to travel in comfort. A Diplomat with the American Board of Phlebology, Dr. Navarro offers tips to avoid the risk of poor circulation and vein pain that often accompanies long travel times.
Here are his 10 tips for optimizing the circulatory system during travel:
AVOID PROLONGED PERIODS OF SITTING AND STANDING: Walk up and down the plane/train every 1-2 hours, when possible, for 5-10 minutes
GET EXERCISE: ankle and lower leg exercises, such as ankle rotations
WEAR GRADUATED COMPRESSION STOCKING: Wear stockings, preferably knee highs with open toe, 15-25mm/hg or 20-30mm/hg
STAY HYDRATED: Double your water intake when traveling
AVOID ALCOHOL: Alcohol dehydrates so avoiding alcohol a few days before taking a long trip would be a good idea
AVOID CAFFEINE: Avoid caffeine while traveling to help prevent poor circulation.
AVOID CROSSING YOUR LEGS. Leg crossing constricts veins and increases venous pressure.
WEAR LOOSE-FITTING CLOTHING. Tight garments can restrict the flow of blood to and from the legs.
ELEVATE YOUR FEET. Raise your feet 6 to 12 inches above your heart whenever possible to assist circulation.
CONSIDER DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS. Vitamins C and E act as antioxidants, which are good for circulation. Flavonoids, butcher’s broom, and Horse Chestnut Seed Extract (HCE50) improve venous circulation and decrease symptoms of venous disease.
Thanks Doc, now we can all relax a little and enjoy the turkey!